Five Points Blog

Planting Joy: A Vision of Five Points

Beginning July 1, all adult Bible Study Hour classes will meet together in the sanctuary. Each week, one of the elders will teach on an aspect of Planting Joy, our vision for expanding the mission of Five Points in the coming years.


July 1 - Overview

July 8 - Planting the Joy of Gospel-Saturated Lives (John 12:23-26)

July 15 - Planting the Joy of Sweet Fellowship

July 22 - Planting the Joy of Grateful Worship

July 29 - Planting the Joy of Deep-Rooted Gratefulness (Psalm 89:1)

August 5 - Planting the Joy of Kingdom-Advancing Ventures (Matthew 13:31-32)

August 12 - Planting the Joy of a Stable Presence Here (Amos 9:14-15)

August 19 - Planting the Joy of New Daughter Churches (1 Corinthians 3:6-9)

August 26 - Planting the Joy of a Seed-Bed for Missions (Matthew 9:37)

September 2 - Planting Joy: What's Next?

Jesus Is Lord

What would Jesus say as the very last public teaching before he submits himself to the humiliation of the cross?  In Mark 12:35 Jesus asks, “How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David?”  After rebuffing the recent scribes’ attacks, this seems like an odd question for Jesus to close with. What does He mean?

He quotes the oft-quoted Old Testament passage, Psalm 110, saying, “David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared, “The LORD said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.””  This verse refers to God’s future Messiah. God the Father, will welcome His Messiah to his right hand in power. Jesus means to show that even David, the great king of Israel, will call God’s Messiah Lord – even though he will be his long descendent son.

What does this mean? It means that Jesus is not merely the Messiah because he is David’s descendent. He is Messiah because He is Lord. Everything the Old Testament says about God the Father’s sovereignty, Lordship and authority finds its fulfillment in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Salvation hangs on confessing Jesus Christ as Lord. Romans 10:9, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

The entire ministry of the New Testament proclaims Jesus as Lord. I Corinthians 8:6, “for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.”

The climax of the age will herald for all to see and bow that Jesus Christ is Lord of lords. Revelation 17:14, “They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.”

Jesus is Lord!

Jesus Has Overcome It All

In John 16:33, Jesus says, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” If there is anything certain for us—whether or not you’re a follower of Jesus—it is that we will endure suffering. There are a seemingly unending number of solutions out there for how we can handle suffering: drugs, meditation, work, alcohol, escapism, capitalism, socialism, religion … . But we are given the solution, the answer: 

Jesus has overcome it all.

That isn’t just some “church answer.” It’s true. But what does that look like? How does that change how we live? This Sunday morning we’ll be looking back to the prophet Habakkuk to see what the life of faith in God looks like in the face of suffering. The Bible doesn’t offer platitudes when it comes to suffering. Instead, it faces it head on, acknowledging the pain and sorrow and hardship. Habakkuk provides us with an example of what it looks like to cling to the promises of God, knowing they are enough in the midst of suffering.

You can always find shelter in the Lord against the storm, and in fact, in him is the only sure place we can turn. So let’s run to him, where we find joy in the sovereignty of God over suffering, and let us confidently and joyfully say, “When sorrows like sea billows roll, it is well with my soul.”

A Complete Atonement

When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:54-57

Christ has removed the law in this sense, that he has completely satisfied it. The law demands a perfect righteousness; Christ says, “Law, thou hast it; find fault with me; I am the sinner’s substitute; have I not kept thy commandments? Wherein have I violated thy statutes?” “Come here, my beloved,” he says, and then he cries to Justice, “Find a fault in this man; I have put my robe upon him; I have washed him in my blood; I have cleansed him from his sin. All the past is gone; as for the future, I have secured it by sanctification; as for the penalty, I have borne it myself; at one tremendous draught of love I have drunk that man’s destruction dry; I have borne what he should have suffered; I have endured the agonies he ought to have endured. Justice, have I not satisfied thee? Did I not say upon the tree, and didst thou not coincide with it, ‘It is finished; it is finished?’ Have I not made so complete an atonement that there is now no need for that man to die and expiate his guilt? Do I not complete the perfect righteousness of this poor, once condemned, but now justified spirit?” “Yes” saith Justice, “I am well satisfied, and even more content, if possible, than if the sinner had brought a spotless righteousness of his own.” And now, what saith the Christian after this? Boldly he comes to the realms of death, and entering the gates there, he cries, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” And when he had said it, the dragon drops his sting. He descends into the grave; he passes by the place where fiends lie down in fetters of iron; he sees their chains, and looks into the dungeon where they dwell, and as he passes by the prison door, he shouts, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” They growl and bite their iron bonds, and hiss in secret, but they cannot lay aught to his charge. Now see him mount aloft. He approaches God’s heaven, he come against the gates, and Faith still triumphantly shouts, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” And a voice comes from within: “Not Christ, for he hath died; not God, for he hath justified.” Received by Jesus, Faith enters heaven, and again she cries, “Who even here amongst the spotless and ransomed, shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” Now the law is satisfied, sin is gone; and now surely we need not fear the sting of the dragon, but we may say, as Paul did, when he rose into the majesty of poetry... “O grave, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?”

~ Charles Spurgeon

The Greatest Word From the Greatest One

It is a sin to pursue your joy apart from God. It is also a sin to pursue your joy apart from the joy of others. The former is pride; the latter selfishness. When the unbelieving Scribe asked Jesus to name the greatest commandment, what did he say? When the greatest Person, surveys the greatest Book, to choose the greatest thing in it, what did he say?  He said, “Love God.”  “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all you’re your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” The greatest sentence that could ever be uttered is this two-word sentence: “Love God.”  Everything less is sin.

Love God with all you are! Love God, the singularly high and Holy One of Israel, who is exalted above all things. Love Him supremely. Love God with every fiber of your being – radically, deeply, unswervingly.

But love for God is invisible. He’s not here; except by His Holy Spirit. Love for Him is a passion of the heart. It resides inwardly and thus secretly. That’s why the vast majority of sin, loving lesser things supremely, occurs in the heart and is seen only by God. So how can love for God be made manifest? How can love for God be seen on the earth?

Answer: by the second greatest commandment: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  Love for neighbor reveals love for God. Or as John says, “If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother” (1 John 4:20-21 ESV).

The two greatest things the Greatest Person ever said hang together in perfect order: Love God, then out of the overflow of loving God, love others with the same love you have for your own well-being. This puts God’s love on display for all to see!